Monday, March 28, 2011

The Sabbath Blessing - Part 5

This is the fifth entry on the blessings connected to the Sabbath. It is sad when God's people look upon His Law as a curse rather than a blessing. Oh to have the heart of David, "Oh how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119:97). The Sabbath is full of blessings and we must look upon it with delight. It is full of Divine wisdom. God knows our frame. He knows what we need. We need the weekly Sabbath rest. God also knows what we need spiritually. In this post I want to address the spiritual blessings of the Sabbath.

The Spiritual Benefits of the Sabbath

God is the Lord of all the earth. He has ordained every detail of our existence. He has ordered days and weeks and months and years. He established a pattern of six days of work followed by a day of rest. God could have created time without any divisions. He could have ordained that we labor without rest--unending toil. For the believer, would we not long in our heart for some free moments to study God's Word? Would we not wish for time off to pray. Would it not be a wonderful blessing to have a whole day without work so we could worship and meditate upon the wonders of God? Isn't it amazing that God has blessed us with such a day and yet most Christians today see it as a slavish burden rather than a blessing?

Consider the blessing of gathering with God's people for worship. The Sabbath is a day where we can set aside the cares and distractions of our weekly toil and focus entirely upon God. You might answer, "Well we can do that without believing in a Sabbath." Yes, but God has set apart a particular day. The early church recognized the pattern of one day in seven as a Sabbath's rest as they began worshiping on the first day of the week in commemoration of our Lord's resurrection? Where did they get this notion? Is it not true that they recognized the abiding importance of the 4th Commandment? What a glorious blessing that God has given us a day for worship. How our souls have been enriched as we've gathered with the saints to worship.

Consider also the extra time we have on the Lord's Day to pray or to study and meditate upon God's Word. What a blessing to spend these precious moments with our God. It is inconceivable that a Christian would rather watch a ballgame on Sunday afternoon than spend time with Christ. It is possible to glory in your liberty to the detriment of your soul. God has provided this day that His people might be more holy. R.L. Dabney wrote, "It is historically true that the vitality and holiness of the church are usually in proportion to its reverence for the Sabbath. The Sabbath-keeping churches and generations have been the holy and zealous ones" (Dabney, Robert L., Discussions of Robert L. Dabney. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust. 1967, page 541).

Finally, consider the spiritual benefit of submission to all the Divine ordinances. When God commands us to sanctify one twenty-four hour day to Him He is declaring His sovereign prerogative over time and His sovereign dominion over us. Our submission to Him is a declaration of His sovereign right over our lives. Such submission is always beneficial for us as we humble ourselves beneath His dominion.

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